At PSHQ we’re literally salivating over these pictures of the Bocelli family’s bathing establishment, because although we may not be able to wiggle our toes in the sand and gawp at the azure waters, this stunning collab allows us to travel in spirit via the radiant fragrances and vibrant colours of the new capsule collection.
In the utterly stunning location of Alpemare Beach Club, Forte dei Marmi in Tuscany (which looks like it should be the set of a Wes Anderson film, don’t you think?) for the first time ever, Acqua di Parma have dressed the beachfront for the entire Summer season! And now, you can dress your home to transport you to the Med every time you see those so-happy pops of colour or catch a waft of the glorious scents.
Comprising fabulously luxurious body products such as the Shower Mousse (£37 for 150ml), lightly scented with the lemon, myrtle, jasmine and salty marine breeze notes of Mirto di Panarea, a Body Scrub (£50 for 200ml) fragranced with their Fico di Amalfi grapefruit, bergamot, lemon and fig (which is basically like sexy marmalade), and even a range of Travel Accessories (we have our eyes on the Confetti Blue Beach Towel, £255 – would it be a bit extra to say we dream of spritzing this with one of the Blu Mediterraneo collection (from £49) and ‘travelling’ with our noses as we sit in our back gardens?) we’re spoiled for choice!
We say: if you can’t be there in person, let perfume whisk you there right now. So spritz that sunshine-filled fragrance and light that candle, because the beach will wait until you can get there again, but your mood can be lifted in mere seconds by the magic of summer scents…
Fresh laundry – crisp cotton sheets on a washing line – is often cited as one of our all-time favourite smells. But what exactly makes line-dried fabric smell so good, and which fragrances can equally evoke the immediate comfort we long for…?
‘We basically create the smell of people’s babies,’ one of the technical perfumers told me, ‘and if we even change the scent of their washing powder a little bit, we get so many complaints.’ They produced many thousands of possible options to fragrance people’s washing – from caramel (popular in Brazil, apparently) to chic multi-layered, musky perfumes. But the most popular of all (and one of the most technically challenging to re-create)? That freshly line-dried smell.
So what is it, beyond your choice of washing powder, that makes fabric smell particularly pleasing if it’s been dried on a line (preferably in a flower meadow, and hung while wearing an Edwardian broderie anglaise gown just prior to picking apples in the orchard, in my dreams, but we work with what we have.)
In a scientific paper examining the ‘Chemical analysis and origin of the smell of line-dried laundry‘, atmospheric chemists have published their analysis of ‘line-dried towels at the molecular level’, now they’ve discovered the exact source of this so-specific smell. Using cotton towels from IKEA, they washed them three times, then dried them in three differing ways: inside the office, on the balcony under a plastic shade and on the balcony in the sun.
Extraordinarily, they found that ‘Line-drying uniquely produced a number of aldehydes and ketones,’ Sylvia Pugliese – the leading researcher – told the New York Times – which are ‘…organic molecules our noses might recognise from plants and perfumes. For example, after sunbathing, the towels emitted pentanal, found in cardamom, octanal, which produces citrusy aromas, and nonanal, which smells rose-like.’
Fascinating stuff, and it got me wondering which fragrances we could reach for that could also recreate that feeling of sunlit cleanliness and comfort, bottled…
A whoosh of silvery, sun-dappled airiness shot through with ginger, mint, and leafy green notes, softening to powdery florals, cushioned by warm skin-like musk and vetiver. One to spray when you need to be reminded of lazy sundays and lie-ins and snuggling up in bliss.
CLEAN Reserve Warm Cotton [Reserve Blend]£82 for 100ml eau de parfum spacenk.com
Yearning for an eco-luxury house with a Swedish mountain lake view? (Uh yes, always.) Bright cotton and bracing air’s evoked with ambrette seeds, freesia, spring magnolia, and soft musk. You’ll be yodelling from first spritz.
Who doesn’t want to be wrapped in a whisper of white fluffy towels and powdery peonies? Effortless and uncomplicated, sooth cares away with delicate freesia nuzzling fuzzy peach, gauzy ylang ylang, sheer rose, wisps of incense and a cloud of creamy froth.
Mandarin swathed in powdered sandalwood shavings, violet suffused in a cool fig milk and tonka bean draped with the feeling of washing blowing in the breeze. Think muslin curtains framing a perfect view, the deliciously cool side of a pillow against a flushed cheek.
Van Cleef & Arpels Bois Blanc £130 for 75ml eau de parfum selfridges.com
Think: deliciously smooth, Egyptian cotton (high thread count, obvs) boutique hotel sheets, just-showered skin and roasted coffee beans sitting atop a warm snuggle of back-lit amber and the sexy hay-like muskiness of the base. For dirty weekends (but in clean sheets.)
So, next time you bury your nose in a freshly dried, fluffy towel, slip into deliciously clean sheets that were dried in the sunshine or spray yourself with a fabulously ‘clean’ smelling fragrance – consider if you can pick up these ultra-nuanced notes with your nose. The more deeply we analyse smells – especially those ‘everyday scents’ we think we know so well – the greater our understanding and the better our sense of smell ultimately becomes. It’s a washing-day win-win…
A full day of sunshine seems a rare treat so far this summer – as we write this, looking out of the office window, puddles of water reveal an earlier downpour and the sky doesn’t look particularly promising. Meh. Instead of being downbeat and shaking our fists in anger at the weather gods, we decided to spritz on some sunshine with a few of summer’s limited editions. Think of them as portable dreams of warmer days, and get your hands on them before they disappear altogether – like the sunshine itself!
Three gorgeous sugared-almond coloured bottles [see above] of Goutal’s prettiest and freshest summer scents are crying out to be shown off on dressing tables. The result of a collaboration with the artist Cecile Togni; Ceclie is inspired by Italy, music and her work with many luxury fashion houses.
Annick Goutal Eau du Sud, Eau d’Hadrien & Ninfeo Mio £87 for 100ml eau de toilette
Buy them at House of Fraser
The jungle green bottle of this utterly sharable scent gives the illusion of peering deep into lush palm-fringed undergrowth. Crisp notes of lime mojito, ginger and juicy guava clear the way for a vibrantly fresh green heart spiced with juniper, before everything cools off with coconut milk, cedar and tree moss.
The internationally acclaimed ‘Queen of colour’ (and now fragrance) Terry de Gunzburg captures refreshing notes of iced tea sipped on summer’s day by the sea. Buoyant lemon verbena lifts the spirits before herbal-powdery mate, black tea and a dreamily soft musk base soothe the soul.
Terry de Gunzburg Thé Glacé Eau Fraîche £107 for 100ml eau de parfum
Buy it at Selfridges
A hot pink outfit for the latest limited edition for Her, and the juice matches the bottle with its vibrant tropical fruitiness radiating juicy vibes and the energy of an exotic setting sun. We know we shouldn’t be influenced by flacons, but even seeing the colourful squares makes us feel warmer, somehow!
Paul Smith Sunshine for Her £31.00 for 100ml eau de toilette
Buy it at Boots
Evoking the fashion of tribal beauty and spirit of an ultra-glam safari holiday, this is the original Extatic gone wild. One for those who prefer their summers hot and spicy: ginger flower, pink pepper, tiger orchid, ylang ylang, night jasmine and cashmere wood will have you turning up the air-con…
Balmain Extatic Tiger Orchid £69.00 for 90ml eau de parfum
Exclusively in-store at Harrods
Britney’s favourite place to holiday is, apparently, Hawaii (we’d be happy to join her if she felt like extending an invite right now!) thus, inspired by white sandy beaches, the warmth of sun on skin and abandoning yourself to exoticism: notes of Bird of Paradise, passion fruit, and coconut. Delish!
BRITNEY SPEARS(tm) Maui fantasy £35 for 100ml eau de toilette
Buy it at Superdrug
The much-loved summer go-to fragrance has been refreshed even further with exquisitely juicy nectarine, peach, apricot and soft musk. We imagine wearing this to a tea-party, clinking glasses and laughing while wearing a gauzy gown and dancing barefoot in the grass until the sun begins to set….
Elizabeth Arden Green Tea Nectarine Blossom £30 for 100ml eau de toilette
Buy it at elizabetharden.co.uk
It’s kind of impossible not to feel cheerful when spraying on a mist of this feminine, mouth-wateringly fruity fragrance inspired by the exotic freshness of dragon fruit (one for Game of Thrones fans on their hols?) The chaps are in for a treat, too – the male version celebrating the unique freshness of kiwi.
L’Eau d’Issey Summer 100ml for £41.00 eau de toilette
Beachy happiness in a bottle with a fizz of bergamot, gentle dune rose, creamy sandalwood infused with rich cocoa absolute and a healthy splash of refreshing coconut water. Solar musks give an aldehydic lift to the lingering in the base – treat yourself to an ice cream in anticipation…
Philosophy Pure Summer Grace £33 for 50ml eau de toilette
Buy it at John Lewis
A debut scent from the award-winning actress, it celebrates her favourite time of shadows slipping into sunlight as the sun dips low on a dusky shore. Ripe nectarine, pink pepper and coconut fuse with salty sea spray as jasmine, peony and orange blossom blush sweetly into a sublimely white musky base.
‘Sunshine and showers’ seems to be the phrase most often escaping the lips of weather-forecasters of late – yes it may be fully Spring time in the UK, but sunshine is most definitely not guaranteed. Thank goodness, then, for the consistently stylish scented offerings from Cire Trudon (who know a thing or two about candle-making, having been at it since 1643) – the latest being ‘Cyrnos‘ (which translates to ‘Corsica’ in Ancient Greek), presented in the most sunshine-y yellow glass holder we think we’ve ever seen, it truly seems to glow before it’s even been shown a flame. From the vibrant colour, you may imagine it to be a highly citrus-fragranced affair, but read on, for all is not quite what it seems…
Cire Trudon say: ‘Between 1850 and 1914, the French Riviera was the place to be for the intellectual and political elite. Ruling families, intellectuals, aristocrats and artists travelled there there to enjoy the practically guaranteed sunshine during there during the winter.
Empress Eugenie, Napoleon the 3rd’s widow, fell for this small corner of paradise. In 1894, she built a villa – named Cyrnos – in Cap Martin, located near Monaco. The name was a tribute to the Bonapartes’ homeland, her late husband’s family. Drenched in sun, and overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, the villa is set in an idyllic stage. The limestone rock made the garden’s construction particularly difficult, only achieved through strong will, and lots of dynamite. The Empress’s ambition was to create a park that looked as though it had always been around. Cyrnos, Cire Trudon’s latest creation conjures the solar beauty, the dazzling scent, and the art of living in this truly unique place.’
With her penchant for landscapes harbouring contrasting plants and their multitudionous scents, the Empress finally achieved this vision: mature pine, olive, and palm trees fringed by wide-ranging flowerbeds full of colour amid the arid landscape typical of the region. The smell of cystus, myrtle, mastic, and rosemary fill the air, mixing with the lavender blooms carried from the garden. Though she lived mostly alone, the Empress hosted any number of prominent monarchs at the time, such as Queen Victoria, as well as avant-garde intellectuals types like Jean Cocteau.
Gorgeously vibrant and uplifting, the sunshine is captured in Cyrnos not through the obvious choice of citrus, but with sun-warmed herbaceous wafts of loveliness that follow you around the house all day, and have us wishing for a personal invite to that all too tempting-sounding villa itself…!
Cire Trudon Cyrnos candle £70
Buy it at John Lewis
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